Once when I was shopping with my mother years ago (more than a decade), I was really frustrated with the fact that all of the clothes were meant to fit girls who were straight up and down, rather than accenting the curves I was developing all-too-fast for my liking. Grabbing and pulling at a pair of pants in the dressing room, I said – and I shamefully quote:
“If I could have any surgery in the world, I would like to have my hips broken and reset again, so I could be leaner and less curvy.”
My mother looked at me with the same horror you’re most likely experiencing reading that comment. Keep reading. There is a happy ending that requires no such medieval-type surgery or torture.
I bring this up because I eventually fell in love with my curves, but I had to do something to get to that point that required a lot of bravery and is counteractive to a lot of what our culture is about right now: I had to remain inside of – and become at peace and at home in – my own body.
This takes a LOT of effort. Because everywhere you look, there are images of a body touted as an ideal that doesn’t look like yours. These Amazonian women are long, lean and seemingly without a lot of the issues that we have. They have the clothes we want, they have the hair we want, they have these seemingly perfect lives and we’re reminded every day that we want to be THEM, rather than be ourselves.
All of this can lead to an extreme distaste for the body we’re in, and so we become disconnected from it. We eat to shut ourselves up,and we exercise to erase any line or crease that speaks of a weakness for cupcakes. We don’t think about our bodies from the neck down – everything about ourselves becomes something else we have to deal with today. Losing weight is on our to-do list and going to the gym becomes an activity where we put on headphones, crank up tunes and either check out with a magazine or tv so we can get it over with.
We are, in essence, living outside ourselves because somehow if we become that thinner woman with long, shampoo-commercial hair and -1% body fat, we’ll be happy then. Right?
Nope. The weird thing is that it’s not really the body that needs fixing with thought processes like that: it’s the thinking. I’m like a duck-billed platypus version of both my parents and you know what? It WORKS, from my curvy breasts and hips, to my big brown eyes and my crazy, weirdly bumpy ankles. It’s where I live and after cleaning it out and only treating it with respect, it looks pretty damn good in here. The trick is that I had to remain inside and really be there during the weight loss journey and through some rough things where it looked like everyone else had a MUCH better existence than me.
Make peace with your body. Become healthy and strong and make it a place where you can live comfortably for the rest of your life, rather than envying where other people live. Fix the place up a little? Sure. But don’t desire to start all over again in a new house. Relocation isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. There’s really no reason to require drastic surgery for vanity’s sake.
By the way,as far as that whole clothes made for only one type of body goes? If those of us with curves demand more from the retail industry, they’ll respond like Gap did with those amazing jeans up top (some of my favorites and NO ONE is paying me to say that.) After all, we’re the ones buying the clothes. We can’t get what we want if we don’t ask for it. 🙂